WOMEN'S NCAA TOURNAMENT: South Carolina continues march to perfection

Clark scores final 6 points as Iowa advances; Ole Miss upsets No. 1 Stanford

South Carolina Gamecocks guard Zia Cooke (1) shoots over South Florida Bulls guard Elena Tsineke (5) in the first half of a second-round NCAA Tournament game March 19, 2023, in Columbia, South Carolina.
South Carolina Gamecocks guard Zia Cooke (1) shoots over South Florida Bulls guard Elena Tsineke (5) in the first half of a second-round NCAA Tournament game March 19, 2023, in Columbia, South Carolina.
Jeff Blake / USA Today Sports

Facing stiff opposition in the opening half, No. 1 seed South Carolina showed why they have remained flawless this season with a stout second-half performance en route to defeating No. 8 seed South Florida 76-45 on Sunday in a second-round NCAA Tournament matchup.

Zia Cooke knocked in a game-high 21 points while shooting 42.1% from the field. Aliyah Boston grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to go with 11 points, while teammate Laeticia Amihere contributed 10 points and six rebounds.

The Bulls were led by the guard tandem of Elena Tsineke and Sammie Puisis. Tsineke had a team-high 20 points, while Puisis scored 11 points.

South Florida was limited to just 29.3% shooting from the field. Meanwhile, South Carolina shot 42.3% and held a 55-28 advantage on rebounds.

No. 3 Notre Dame 53, No. 11 Mississippi State 48

In a battle between teams that struggled to make a basket, No. 3 seed Notre Dame came out on top of 11th-seeded Mississippi State in the end, to advance to the Sweet 16.


Notre Dame went a paltry 34.7% from the field and never made a 3-pointer, but it was still enough to edge the Bulldogs, who shot an even worse 29.5% from the field.

Sonia Citron scored a team-high 14 points for the Fighting Irish, as Lauren Ebo scored 10 points to go with a game-high 18 rebounds. Maddy Westbeld was also strong on the boards, grabbing 15 rebounds to go with her 10 points.

Mississippi State was led by Kourtney Weber’s 14 points.

Notre Dame held a 49-32 advantage in rebounds, but committed seven more turnovers than the Bulldogs.

No. 2 Maryland 77, No. 7 Arizona 64

Four Terrapins eclipsed double-digit scoring as No. 2 seed Maryland knocked off seventh-seeded Arizona in a second-round matchup Sunday.

Diamond Miller led Maryland with a game-high 24 points to go with seven assists. Shaynne Sellers added 15 points and five assists, while Faith Masonius and Brinae Alexander contributed 12 points apiece.

Cate Reese led Arizona with 19 points and four rebounds. Shaina Pellington added 13 points while Paris Clark scored 11 points. Esmery Ramirez also had a strong performance with 13 rebounds and eight points.


No. 3 LSU 66, No. 6 Michigan 42

Third-seeded LSU started fast and finished strong as the Lady Tigers left little opportunity for No. 6-seed Michigan to mount a threat in a second-round NCAA Tournament matchup Sunday.Angel Reese was a dominant force for LSU, putting up game high totals in points (25) and rebounds (24). She also pitched in six blocks, four assists and three steals.


Alexis Morris hit double digits with 11 points, as did LaDazhia Williams with 10 points. Williams also grabbed 10 rebounds.

Laila Phelia was the lone Wolverine to hit double figures in scoring, with a team-high 20 points. Cameron Williams, Michigan’s next highest scorer with eight points, was the only other Wolverine to eclipse five points on the day.

As a team, LSU held a marginal advantage on shooting percentage as the Lady Tigers shot 35.3% from the floor compared to Michigan’s 34.8%. On 3-pointers, LSU shot 31.6%, while the Wolverines hit on 30.8% of attempts. The big differentiator was turnovers, where Michigan committed 16 to LSU’s seven.

No. 2 Utah 63, No. 10 Princeton 56

Alissa Pili and Jenna Johnson led a Utes team that struggled to hit shots but managed to do just enough to thwart off No. 10-seed Princeton on Sunday to ensure Utah advanced to the Sweet 16.

Pili reached double figures in points and rebounds, with 28 and 10, respectively. Johnson scored 15 points to go with six rebounds.

Kaitlyn Chen led the Princeton offense with 19 points, while Grace Stone added another 16 points. Chen also chipped in with six rebounds. Ellie Mitchell led the Tigers on the boards with 18 rebounds while also scoring nine points.

Neither team found much success shooting as the Utes hit 39.5% of their shots from the field and Princeton managed just 27.8%. On 3-pointers, Utah was even worse with just one make in 15 attempts. Princeton shot 19.2% from beyond the arc but only made five shots total.


No. 2 Iowa 74, No. 10 Georgia 66

Up by just two points with one minute left to play, Iowa junior Caitlin Clark took control and forced a turnover, splashed in a jump shot and then iced the game with four made free throws to lift the second-seeded Hawkeyes to a 74-66 win over No. 10 seed Georgia on Sunday in a second-round NCAA Tournament game.


Despite trailing for only six minutes, six seconds in the entire game, Iowa could only muster a 10-point advantage for a few fleeting seconds before the Bulldogs forced their way back into the game.

Clark was a leader on the court however, with a game highs in points and assists with 22 and 12, respectively. Monika Czinano and McKenna Warnock narrowly missed out on double-doubles themselves as Czinano finished with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Warnock scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Gabbie Marshall also showed a scoring touch, finishing with 15 points.

Georgia was led by Diamond Battles, who scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds. Brittney Smith and Javyn Nicholson each scored 12 points, while Jordan Isaacs snagged a team-high 10 rebounds.

No. 8 Ole Miss 54, No. 1 Stanford 49

Madison Scott's two free throws with 23 seconds left lifted the No. 8 Ole Miss Rebels to their first Sweet 16 since 2007 by preventing No. 1 Stanford from making it for the 15th straight tournament.

Angel Baker scored 13 points and Marquesha Davis added 12 for the Rebels (25-8), who squandered a 13-point, third-quarter deficit before Scott made a steal with Stanford trying to take its first lead of the game.

Scott, who finished with 11 points, was immediately fouled after her steal and hit two free throws. Stanford turned the ball over on its next possession, and Davis secured the win by making two throws with 15.4 seconds left.

"Our team kind of had a meltdown at the end because we've never been in this position and we could feel it leaving," Ole Miss coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin said after the game. "But we played to win. This is for the people with a dollar and a dream."

Stanford (29-6) was led by Cameron Brink, who had 20 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks, while Haley Jones chipped in 16 points and eight rebounds.


The Cardinal had reached the Final Four in each of the past two seasons, including winning the national title in 2021.


No. 1 Virginia Tech 72, No. 9 South Dakota State 60

Ninth-seeded South Dakota State did their best to make the second-round NCAA Tournament game interesting with No. 1-seed Virginia Tech, but a deep deficit in the first half proved too much to overcome in the upset attempt.

The Hokies took a 46-23 lead into the break, which was ultimately necessary as the Jackrabbits slowly closed the gap throughout the second half. In the closing 20 minutes, South Dakota State outscored the Hokies 37-26.

Georgia Amoore scored a game-high 21 points to lead Virginia Tech scorers, while Elizabeth Kitley recorded 15 points and 14 rebounds. Taylor Soule scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Kayana Traylor contributed another 11 points.

South Dakota State was led by Myah Selland, who had a team high in points and rebounds with 17 and nine, respectively. The guard duo of Haleigh Timmer and Paige Meyer had a matching 12 points and three rebounds.

Virginia Tech was a persistent threat from deep, hitting 40% from beyond the arc, compared to just 13.3% for the Jackrabbits.


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